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Various signs are posted outside the emergency room entrance on Nov. 1 at Providence St. Joseph Hospital in Orange. Orange County’s health officer has declared a local health emergency in response to increases in respiratory illnesses and an onslaught of the quickly spreading RSV, a respiratory virus that is most dangerous in young children.

Mark Rightmire/MediaNews Group/Orange County Register via Getty Images


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Mark Rightmire/MediaNews Group/Orange County Register via Getty Images


Various signs are posted outside the emergency room entrance on Nov. 1 at Providence St. Joseph Hospital in Orange. Orange County’s health officer has declared a local health emergency in response to increases in respiratory illnesses and an onslaught of the quickly spreading RSV, a respiratory virus that is most dangerous in young children.

Mark Rightmire/MediaNews Group/Orange County Register via Getty Images

Hospitals around the country are overwhelmed, but this time it’s not just with COVID.

Cases of the flu and RSV are also spiking earlier this year.

We hear from a pediatrician in Seattle who says it is the worst season she’s seen in her 16-year career.

And NPR’s Rob Stein reports on what infectious disease specialists recommend to stay healthy this season.

In participating regions, you’ll also hear a local news segment to help you make sense of what’s going on in your community.

Email us at considerthis@npr.org.

This episode was produced by Karen Zamora, Noah Caldwell and Claudette Lindsay-Habermann. It was edited by William Troop and Scott Hensley. Our executive producer is Sami Yenigun.

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